THE DUCHESS of Cambridge (a/k/a Kate Middleton) left a London hospital Thursday after being treated for four days for acute morning sickness related to her pregnancy.
Clutching a small bouquet of yellow roses, the duchess smiled and posed briefly for a photograph alongside her husband, Prince William, before leaving King Edward VII Hospital. She stepped delicately, as she does everything, into a waiting car.
The couple's office said she would head to Kensington Palace in London to rest. Officials from St. James' Palace have said the duchess is not yet 12 weeks pregnant with the couple's first child.
Dutiful William visited his wife at the hospital every day.
But the stay of one of the world's most recognized women was complicated by a breach of privacy.
Mel Greig and Michael Christian, two Australian radio disc jockeys, impersonated Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles and placed a prank call to the hospital early Tuesday. The two goofballs persuaded an unwitting nurse to tell them all about the Duchess' condition.
Greig and Christian later apologized for the hoax - sheepishly noting that they were surprised that the call was put through and that no one caught that the queen does not have an Australian accent.
Granted they were impersonating royals, but why would a nurse give details to anyone on the phone, especially a patient's father-in-law and his mother.
24/7 Dan Gross
Even though he's on assignment, Dan Gross reported exclusively on phillygossip.com that Lindsay Lohan was backstage at Wednesday's Q102 Jingle Ball at the Wells Fargo Center.
The "Liz and Dick" star is friends with English boy band The Wanted, with whom she was recently partying in New York the night she was arrested for allegedly punching a woman she thought had taken her purse.
She was spotted Wednesday afternoon with the group at the Omni Hotel by Independence Park.
Happily, no arrests were made.
* "Sopranos" creator David Chase was in town to talk about his new movie "Not Fade Away" (opening here Dec. 28) and had dinner Wednesday night at Jose Garces' Amada. He lunched between interviews Thursday at the Ritz-Carlton at 10 Arts by Eric Ripert.
* George Clooney is trying to highlight satellite evidence from a U.S.-based anti-genocide group that allegedly reveals 26 villages in Sudan were intentionally set on fire last month.
Clooney said Thursday that destroying a village is a war crime and that the international community must counter and create consequences for such crimes.
The Satellite Sentinel Project, which Clooney helped found, said satellite imagery shows that 26 villages, food crops and grasslands were burned in a 54-square-mile area in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan in November.
* Stephen Baldwin, one of Alec's brothers, has been charged with failing to file New York state income taxes for three years.
Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe says Baldwin owes more than $350,000 in taxes and penalties. Baldwin was arraigned Thursday on a charge of repeated failure to file tax returns, pleaded not guilty and was released without bail.
The D.A. says Baldwin could face up to four years in prison if convicted.
* MTV says "Jersey Shore" stars Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWOWW" Farley and comedian Jeff Dye will host the network's live New Year's Eve special from Times Square.
"MTV's Club NYE 2013" will also feature performances from Ke$ha, Ne-Yo, Sean Kingston, Rita Ora and others. Ke$ha described the final night of the year as a time when people come together to celebrate "in a sweaty, drunken, dance-fueled orgy of bliss."
Or as it's known on "Jersey Shore," every day.
* Spotify announced Thursday that Metallica was joining the service.
Metallica had previously declined to stream its music, but fans can now access 30 years of the band's recordings.
The move is significant, because Metallica was among several acts who sued Napster in 2000, eventually forcing a settlement that required Napster to evolve into a pay-for-use service that became something of a model for today's streaming companies.
Drummer Lars Ulrich says in a news release the band has waited a long time to see how the music streaming service model would evolve and is "beyond psyched to unleash our music through" Spotify.
* Guesting on "Ellen," Drew Barrymore told Ellen DeGeneres how she came to name her daughter Olive.
"I was reading a book with my husband," she said. "I was three months pregnant and they said your baby is the size of an olive, and that was it. We never looked back."
Ellen then joked that it was a good thing the baby wasn't the size of a grapefruit.
We give Drew points for coming up with a story better than the obvious one:
"I had just finished another martini with my husband ... "
- Daily News wire services contributed to this report.